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LIVING IN DENMARK

EXPLAINED: What changes about life in Denmark in September 2021

Here's what changes in Denmark in September and how it could affect you.

EXPLAINED: What changes about life in Denmark in September 2021
People dancing in Copenhagen's Culture Box club, which opens on Wednesday for a four-day party. Photo: Daniel Liversage/Culture Box

Nightclubs and discos to reopen — some for first time since March 2020 

Wednesday will be a huge day for Denmark’s clubbers, with many nightclubs and discos opening their doors for the first time since they were closed down in March, 2020, ending one of the last restrictions still in place in Denmark. 

The Copenhagen super-club Culture Box is celebrating with a four-day “reopening weekend” which will run from Wednesday evening until battered revellers emerge blinking into the sunlight at 8am on Sunday morning (the nighclub will, however, close at 8am every morning).    

The Sigurdsgade nightclub in Nørrebro is waiting until Friday night for its own Åbnings Fest party. 

Bakken in the city’s Kødbyen meatpacking district will be open from Wednesday night into the small hours of Sunday morning. 

In Aarhus, the Kupé nightclub opens on Wednesday night. 

“After 19 months of party prison we are finally set free. Free to party, meet new people, have fun, dance, kiss and create a lot of lovely memories!” the club wrote on its Facebook page. 

In Odense, the Slagteriet nightclub will open on Saturday for what the club calls “a true Slagteriet classic”. 

Until September 10th, when Denmark will no longer classify Covid-19 as “dangerous to society”, anyone visiting a nightclub will need to show a valid coronapas (or a negative test result, proof of vaccination or proof of immunity due to prior infection). 

As Denmark dropped its 1m distance recommendations for public places in mid-August, there will be no additional restrictions on how many people can go on the dance floor or how close people can sit at tables. 

End to 2am closing times for bars and restaurants 

From September 1st, the ban on bars and restaurants staying open later than 2am will be removed, as will the ban on shops selling alcohol after 2am. 

Coronapas dropped for bars and restaurants 

From September 1st, it will no longer be required to show a valid coronapas (or a negative test result, proof of vaccination or proof of immunity due to prior infection), to sit indoors in restaurants and bars. 

Coronapas dropped for gyms and fitness centres

From September 1st, it will no longer be required to have a valid coronapas (or a negative test result, proof of vaccination or proof of immunity due to prior infection), to attend a gym or fitness centre in Denmark. 

Athletic Progression, SPOT festival 2019. Photo: Scanpix

The return of music festivals at full scale 

On August 15th, as many as 10,000 visitors were permitted at outdoor events with a standing public, so long as they were divided into sections of 2,500 people. From September 1st, even this limit will be dropped, as will the requirement for attendees to show a valid coronapas (or negative test result, proof of vaccination or immunity due to prior infection). 

With Roskilde and Smukfest respectively cancelling and downscaling their events, Aarhus’s Spot Festival on September 16th is one of the few festivals to take advantage of the end of restrictions. 

Covid-19 no longer classed as ‘critical threat to society’ from September 10th

From September 10th, Covid-19 will no longer be classed as a “critical threat to society”, or samfundskritisk sygdom, a disease which threaten the functions of society as a whole, by for instance, overwhelming the health system, meaning the government will lose the legal powers to impose bans on people gathering, demands for Covid-19 passes, and demands for face masks.

Covid-19 was first rated a samfundskritisk sygdom on March 10th last year, meaning it is being downgraded after one and a half months. Covid-19 will continue to be rated an alment farlig sygdom, “dangerous to public health”, and a “smitsom sygdom”, an infectious disease, both of which give the government and health authorities additional powers to test people and collect and share health data. 

A queue at the Falck rapid test centre at Gigantium in Aalborg back in April. Photo: Henning Bagger/Ritzau Scanpix

Continued reduction in Covid-19 testing capacity in Denmark 

From September 1st, Denmark will downscale its capacity for PCR tests from 170,000 to 100,000, and from September 13th, it will halve its capacity for rapid tests from 200,000 to 100,000, according to the timeline from the Danish Critical Supplies Agency

    As part of the downscaling, the government will drop its requirement that all Danish citizens have a Covid-19 test facility within 20km of where they live, and many test centres will be closed. 

    Denmark’s Covid-19 support packages for businesses come to an end 

    September 2021 is the last month for which businesses that have lost more than 30 percent of their turnover compared to the corresponding month in 2019 can apply for government support to cover their fixed costs

    Opt-in Covid-19 vaccination scheme ends 

    The opt-in scheme enabling people in Denmark to receive the Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca vaccines against Covid-19 comes to an end on September 1st.

    The scheme allowed a private company, Practio, to administer the two vaccines outside of the national vaccination programme. Vaccination under the scheme required approval following a medical consultation.

    Denmark pulled the J&J and AstraZeneca vaccines from its national programme earlier this year due to concerns over very rare but serious side effects.

    The country’s national Covid-19 vaccination programme using the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines continues.

    READ ALSO: Will people in Denmark who got the Johnson & Johnson jab get booster shots?

    Brits in Denmark born between 1980-1984 should apply for permanent residency 

    The Danish Agency for International Recruitment and Integration has advised Brits living in Denmark who were born between 1980 and 1984 to send in their applications for permanent residency in September.

    The agency said in an open letter published in December that it wanted to stagger the applications to avoid a surge which would overwhelm its staff. However, the dates given were only a request and British residents who have applied ahead of the recommended time have had their applications handled as normal

    You apply for residency at the New in Denmark page. 

    New EU energy labels come in for lights in Denmark 

    From September 1st, new EU energy labelling for lamps and lighting will come into force in Denmark, with all lighting products labelled from A++ (the most efficient) to E (the least efficient).

    New wage subsidy scheme for 50+ long-term unemployed comes into force 

    From September 1st, businesses and public agencies which give work to long-term unemployed people over the age of 50 will benefit from a subsidy of 140.40 kroner per hour if they are in the private sector and 102.90 kroner an hour if they are in the public sector. The scheme, which expires in on December 31st 2022, is intended to help citizens deemed at particular risk of long-term unemployment during the Covid-19 crisis. 

    Businesses to be hit with higher fines for workplace accidents and safety failings  

    A new Workplace Environment act comes into force on September 1st, which increases the fines businesses founding infringing health and safety rules, and doubles the fine they will receive if these failings result in serious personal injury or death, with fines increased further in aggravating circumstances or in repeated cases

    The new act was the result of a political agreement reached between Denmark’s political parties in April 2019, under the previous Liberal Party government. 

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    For members

    WHAT CHANGES IN DENMARK

    KEY POINTS: Everything that changes about life in Denmark in May 2022

    The tax return deadline, more public holidays and thousands of runners returning to the streets of Copenhagen are among the things to expect in Denmark in May.

    KEY POINTS: Everything that changes about life in Denmark in May 2022

    Deadline for making changes to tax returns 

    If you haven’t yet done so, now’s the time to log on to tax website skat.dk and check your annual return or årsopgørelse.

    Tax returns are published by tax authorities each March and taxpayers have until May 1st to check their details – relating to earnings, tax payments and deductions – are correct. In some cases, making sure you have the right information on your tax return can mean you get a tax rebate.

    The tax authorities have in recent years asked taxpayers to pay particular attention to their commuter deduction or kørselsfradrag information, after the method for entering this on the return became more manual as home working increased during the Covid-19 pandemic. But all information can be checked and updated on the online return up to May 1st.

    READ ALSO:

    Switch to summer tyres (if you haven’t already)

    Alternating between winter and summer tyres is not a legal requirement in Denmark, but is broadly recommended, including by FDM, the Danish membership organisation for motorists.

    Neighbouring SwedenNorway and Germany – where many Danish residents head on skiing and other holidays during the colder months – all have rules requiring winter tyres, meanwhile, meaning the practice is common in Denmark, not least for those who may need to take their cars over the border.

    Most people switch back to summer tyres at Easter, which this year fell on April 17th. But the week leading up to Easter was cold for the time of year with some frosts in the mornings, so some car owners may have held out a little longer.

    More about the practice of using winter and summer tyres in Denmark can be found in this article.

    Public holidays

    Following on from Easter, we’re still in boom season for public holidays in Denmark.

    Great Prayer Day or Store Bededag gives a long weekend starting Friday May 13th, while Ascension Day, Kristi Himmelfartsdag in Danish, is less than two weeks later on Thursday May 26th.

    Many Danes take the Friday after Ascension Day as annual leave, giving them a four-day weekend at the cost of only one day of leave.

    READ ALSO: What public holidays does Denmark have in 2022?

    Look out for extension of border controls

    Temporary border controls in place in Denmark since 2016 are currently scheduled to expire on May 11th but will be extended if past practice is basis for prediction.

    First introduced in January 2016 in response to the European refugee crisis of late 2015, Denmark’s border controls have remained in place since through regular extensions. The checks generally consist of spot checks at border crossing.

    EU countries which are part of the Schengen agreement, like Denmark, are permitted to introduce border controls if these are deemed necessary to protect internal security. The Danish government cited the treat of Islamist terrorism and organised crime in its justification for retaining the controls when they were most recently extended in October.

    The controls can be extended for a maximum of six months. As such, they are still considered to be temporary even though they have now been in place for over six years.

    Controls at borders undertaken as a measure to prevent the spread of Covid-19 are no longer in place, so all checks are security related.

    Return of Copenhagen Marathon

    After a three-year absence caused by consecutive cancellations due to Covid-19, the 41st edition of the Copenhagen Marathon takes place on May 15th.

    The 42.2-kilometre route through the Danish capital starts and finishes by the harbour at Islands Brygge and takes in each of the central districts: Vesterbro, the Inner City, Østerbro, Frederiksberg and Nørrebro.

    There’s usually a great energy along the route. I’d recommend either Nørrebrogade near Dronning Louises Bro (Bridge) or Islands Brygge as the best spots to take in the atmosphere.

    New parking rules take effect

    Municipal parking rules change on May 1st and it’s worth being aware of these to avoid an unwanted yellow ticket on your windscreen.

    The new rules mean that municipalities can now issue fines for cars parked on areas that divide roads with bicycle lanes and pavements (sidewalks). This broadens existing rules against parking on pavements, either completely or partially.

    Sometimes the ‘reservation’ or grassy or gravel area between a road and the cycle lane (or pavement) might be wide enough for a car, or part of one, and could be used for parking on. This is no longer permitted, motorists’ organisation FDM writes.

    A ticket for breaching the new parking regulations will set you back 510 kroner.

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